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What does the resentencing initiative mean for Illinois inmates?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2022 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

What to do with people convicted of crimes has been hotly debated among lawmakers and citizens alike. There seem to be perpetual disagreements on the goals for people sent to prison and, more objectively, how much time is “enough.”

The Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, recently introduced new efforts to reduce sentences for certain inmates.

Here’s what you should know about how the initiative would handle current inmates in Illinois prisons.

WHY NOW?

After a long period of trying to appear “tough on crime,” Illinois lawmakers are looking at the consequences of their actions. Rather than creating an environment with less violence, residents of the state are seeing similar amounts of crime and an unfair number of minorities doing longer sentences.

An initiative to resentence some of the long-term prisoners with more lenient sentences gives those in the various levels of the criminal justice system the opportunity to try to create fairness and undo some of the overcorrection done in the previous era.

WHO WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR RESENTENCING?

Currently, the details are unclear on how officials will determine who could receive shorter sentences. The goal of the initiative is to cut sentences that are no longer in the “interests of justice.”

Additionally, some are debating what the logistics of the resentencing initiative should look like. Rather than resentencing, some are calling for changes in the parole system so that there is a greater opportunity to determine if someone has been rehabilitated.

Officials in the Illinois criminal justice system are finding themselves on many sides of the debate. While there is some unfairness in past sentencing decisions, they are unsure how to right the disparity.